Homeward Bound

Insanely beautiful day today. Absolutely crazy beautiful.

So I slipped on the shoes and shorts before jumping in the car for the ride home, and cranked out a run. My bright idea was that I’d run out easy for 11 minutes, then turn around and pick up the pace for the way home. Really stretch it out to see if I could drop 2 minutes off the leg time and get in in 20 minutes.

Off I go. Highlight of the run was not getting attacked by geese this time, but was seeing the new cadets arrive at NAPS. Nothing like a little standard issue “orientation” to bring back memories of Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Hyler, United States Marine Corps, and get my left foot hitting the ground. (ran a 9:30 mile and a half after 4 months with him) Warmed my heart.

I turn around in front of the NAPS building, and “kick it into high gear”. Truthfully, I felt great on the way back, until my heart rate pegged about 1/2 mile away from the car. Slowed down a little bit, but figured out I’d still cut a minute or so off based on perceived effort and that this side of the run was more downhill.

So what did the clock tell me? 21:45. Dropped a whopping 15 seconds on the trip back in.

Sigh.

Giro isn’t just a tasty sandwich

Despite cribbing a running-centric title from the VU, running isn’t my only love.

Cycling I dig, too, and about this time of year, that means I’m into the Giro d’Italia. Cipo’s out after a pretty nasty crash, but it’s still three weeks of footage of rolling hills and guys who can push a bike way, way too fast.

Last night – OLN’s taped coverage and the rollers, while the baby slept on the futon in the basement.

Foggy Notion

And I’ll do it again

Got the whole VU theme going. Somehow, Lou Reed has addled my brain with his jangly guitars, catchy riffs, and memorable lyrics. Who needs the iPod when there’s hours of the Velvets permanently etched into one’s melon?

Foggy day today. 33-ish minutes, we’ll call it 3.5 miles, since I’m feeling generous. Did “speedwork” at the NAPS track, 4 1/8 mile repeats with cool downs until I lowered my heart rate.

Almost got killed by a bunch of geese and goslings hiding behind steam piping.

Ouch

I’m a freakin’ wimp. Did yard work this weekend, and I hurt. Granted, the yard work does involve lots and lots and lots of heavy lifting, but I still feel somewhat of a wuss since it involved absolutely zero loggable miles.

BTW – The “small dog” syndrome bit this morning. Again, I’m inbound to the gym for triple S (Shower and shave are two of the S’s; you figure out the other) when I see a woman abotu 50 yards ahead, probably headed to the gym, too.

I’m tired, but suddenly, something kicks in and I have to pass her.

So I ring up a higher bell, grunt, and start pounding the pavement. It hurts, but I’m functioning on an animal level now, so pain becomes not an issue. Pretty quickly I pass her. More quickly, in fact, than I’d intended on. I’ve spent more than I thought, and quickly worry that I’ve dug myself into an energy hole from which I will not emerge.

Enter vanity, stage right. I’ve passed this woman, there is no way I can stop to walk and catch my breath, since she’d pass me, and I’d look like a jerk for flying past her. So I leg it out, and have recovered by the time I hit the bridge to go back to the island and the Gym. I’m feeling so fine, I go ahead and stretch out for the last bit.

Sometimes life becomes extremely good for no apparent reason…

Looks like there’s a fair number of other running blogs out there. Such as this one.

The downside of reading other runner’s blogs is that my “lust list” grows to include stuff like this.

Woo Hoo.

Hit the road this afternoon and banged out about 4 miles on Military Highway before driving back to Mystic. There’s such a complete difference in mindset when running in the afternoon than when running at the crack of dawn.

Still haven’t hit the bike shop.

Which is probably not a bad thing. Better if I refurb one of my old bikes instead of buying brandy new.

But new is so sexy…

Leaving work early. Stopping by the bike shop to see about getting some wheels with which to drag the kiddos around. Anyone got a grand you want to give me?

Took a rest day, and ate chinese food. Bad all around for losing weight. Maybe I’ll run when the boys go to sleep.

Ah, spring.

Spring, spring, spring, spring.

I’m finally convinced that it’s here in New England to stay.

Today was a perfect spring day, little bit of fog rolling in off of Narragansett Bay, next to no breeze, and bright sunshine making the birds sing.

I had the run of the year so far. I was hurting something awful from working in the yard all day Saturday. Out of shape engineers should not be allowed to have yards, or should be required to pay higher insurance premiums for them. In any case, I was hurting on Sunday when I took the boys over to the Seaport to pick up a membership and wander around before tourist season really begins. My thighs and back were totally tight.

This morning felt no different, but the day was so pretty I had to go and at least make the effort. After about a mile or so, my legs loosened up, and my breathing got into the groove. So I stretched the run. As I was coming into the last half mile or so, and thinking about walking a bit, since I’d gone further than planned, when I saw a skinny guy merging on the same road as I was, probably headed for the gym and a shower.

Crap.

So in an instant I go from being completely contented to wanting to beat the guy back to the locker room. Instant rivalry with a man who I have never before in my life met. My weakness, wanting to walk and catch my breath instantly becomes my shame, and there is no way, shape or form that is going to get me to pause for a breath and let him pass me. If he wants to knock off a fat man this morning, he’s going to have to earn it.

Can I Kick It?” asks the Tribe. “Yes I can,” I answer.

Digging deep, I find one last inner reserve to pour into my shoes. I’m jumping onto the seawall, stretching out the strides while trying to stay on the 9″ wide section of concrete and avoid falling onto the rock beach below, narrowly missing slipping in the gull poop. I’m studiously avoiding looking back, not wanting to see the guy’s eyes as he’s breathing down my neck, not wanting to give him the split second opening to realize that I’m weak, that I’m on my last ounce of gas, that I have nothing more to give and all he needs to break me like a china teapot is to turn on the juice just a little bit.

I know I shouldn’t be this competitive. I have absolutely no chops with which to back it up, but I can’t help it. My buddy the Troll is vicious when he’s on a bike. If there’s anyone up ahead, he’s grinding the big ring until he dies or passes. I fight just too hold on to Troll’s wheel. I’ve got the same “Small Dog” syndrome in sneaks.

So I’ve been pushing myself for about a quarter mile, and come to a turn to go over the bridge back to the island and Gym 109. I steal a glance over my shoulder, expecting to see the guy breathing down my neck.

He’s 100 or so yards back.

Holy crap, I ran skinny guy into the ground.

Or more likely, he was doing base miles, didn’t need to get any speed work in.

Regardless, I was feeling good on the remaining trot back to the gym. It’s not often that I can stave off someone passing. Plus, I extended the run I had planned, and felt good, ran out the cramps from the weekend’s yard work, and enjoyed the prettiest day I’ve seen in ages. Even got to chase a rabbit.

Life is good.

Finally got off my butt this week. Monday, my excuse is that it was cold and rainy. Weak, I know, but whadda you want for nothing? Tuesday – well, I decided to sleep in.

Today? I’d planned on not running, but it was my favorite kind of day: Chilly (~40 F), bluebird skies, and not a whole lot of wind. So I ran, and ran, and ran (~3 miles) and it felt good.